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Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places nomination file, “U.S. Soldiers and Airmen’s Home” (with photographs) and materials from the President Lincoln’s Cottage historic site. Made possible through the sponsorship of President Lincoln’s Cottage and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this lesson was written by Jodi Boyle, Craig MacDonald, and Emily Weisner, graduate students in Public History at American University, with assistance from staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The lesson was edited by staff of the National Trust and the National Park Service’s Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) program and TwHP intern Leah Suhrstedt, an American University graduate student. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in teaching units on President Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, slavery and emancipation, and Washington, DC
Time period: Mid-19th Century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find Your State's History Standards for Grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To describe the impact of the Civil War upon Washington, DC and on President Lincoln.
2) To explain the importance of the work Lincoln did at his retreat.
3) To compare and contrast President Lincoln’s formal, public life at the White House with his more informal, private life at his seasonal retreat at the Soldiers’ Home.
4) To analyze the provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Materials for students
The materials listed below can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) One map of President Lincoln’s commute route from the Soldiers’ Home to the White House;
2) Three readings related to Lincoln's time at the Soldiers' Home, the strain of the war on the President, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Mary Todd Lincoln’s views of the Soldiers’ Home;
3) Five images of President Lincoln and Civil War Washington.

Visiting the site
President Lincoln’s Cottage is located at the intersection of Upshur St., NW, and Rock Creek Church Rd., Washington, DC, on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, which owns the building. The cottage was extensively restored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which operates the building and offers public tours. For more information, please contact President Lincoln’s Cottage at AFRH-W Box 1315, 3700 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20011-8400, or visit President Lincoln’s Cottage Website.

 

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